HomeJPAIR Multidisciplinary Research Journalvol. 1 no. 1 (2008)

Philippines 2007 Regional Study on Smoking in Girls and Young Women

Chona Quezon Sarmiento

Discipline: Health



The 2007 Philippines Regional Survey on Smoking in Girls and Young Women provides updated information on women and young girls' smoking experience and behavior, awareness of smoking bans and advertisements, their attitude and beliefs on smoking, and the smoking prevalence and behavior of their family members. A Cross-sectional survey was done for phase I and a qualitative study for phase 2. The survey was conducted in Manila and Zamboanga with a total of 3,000 respondents from 15 schools and 14 college institutions. The quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed a higher prevalence of 37.8% of respondents who had ever smoked cigarette from which 18.7% of the girls are current smokers. The high 60.3% of the girls first tried cigarette smoking at the age of 18 years and above. Drawn from the qualitative results is a mixed form of tobacco promotions in the country with weak on penalty measures as claimed by the girls. Despite a high knowledge and awareness of anti-smoking messages, the tobacco smoking is still prevalent. Cigarette access is widely available, accessible and tobacco advertisements still flourish with young girls and women as captured consumers. There are promising counter strategies, laws and policies to be learned for the campaigns to succeed. Based on the findings, smoking prevention can be effective if a strong community-school based partnership is forged. There is a need for a more concrete and empirical evidence on sanctions and penalties meted-out to those who violete smoking policies, laws and media campaigns on the adverse effects of smoking and second hands smoking on one's health. Further, there is a need of health programs on smoking intervention, training for teachers, deans of discipline and guidance counselors initiated at the first four years high school to include monitoring, evaluation and smoking surveillance in all schools and campuses.